Former Barneys flagship in Chelsea to become luxury condos
Streetview of Barneys New York at 115 7th Avenue © 2023 Google
The former Barneys flagship store in Chelsea is going condo. Douglas Tiesi’s Argentic Investment Management, which took over the shuttered department store at 115 7th Avenue from developer Ben Ashkenazy in 2020, sold the property to Flushing developer and architect Raymond Chan for $22 million, as first reported by the Real Deal. Ashkenazy paid $57 million for the building in 2014. Chan plans to convert the property into a luxury residential development with ground-floor retail space, according to Curbed.
Ashkenazy’s Acquisition Corporation started a gut renovation of the property after buying it, but never completed the project. The building is one of a few properties connected to Ashkenazy that have been embroiled in legal disputes, including the Union Station redevelopment in Washington D.C., which the developer lost to his lender Rexmark last year.
Recent court filings show that Ashkenazy secretly recorded Rexmark principal Michael Rebibo on at least six separate occasions during their dispute over the property, according to the Real Deal. During a disposition, Ashkenazy denied ever recording Rebibo, but when further pressed, claimed he only did it one time.
In February 2020, Barneys announced it close all of its stores, pulling the plug on what was once a giant in the luxury fashion industry. The closures came after Barneys filed for bankruptcy in August 2019 due to a major rent increase at its Madison Avenue location to $30 million, according to the New York Post. Barneys was sold in November 2019 for $270 million to Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and B. Riley Financial Inc.
Ashkenazy, the building’s owner, and ABD and B. Riley Financial Inc., the company’s new owners, agreed to keep the former flagship open for at least a year and operate it as a temporary pop-up retail space with a smaller footprint.
The closed store has featured a variety of pop-ups over the last few years, including Spirit Halloween and the Winter Show, one of the country’s most prominent art, antique, and design exhibitions, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The exhibition was held at the former flagship from April 1 through 10.
According to the listing from Meridian Capital, the site will be delivered “100% vacant and is currently a 39,826 SF seven-story shell building,” allowing investors to utilize 15,000 square feet of additional air rights or raze the existing building and build a nearly 55,000-square-foot new structure.